The Truths We Hold
From one of America's most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.Senator Kamala Harris's commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents--an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India--met as activists in the civil rights movement when they were graduate students at Berkeley. Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a prosecutor out of law school, a deputy district attorney, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis, winning a historic settlement for California's working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California's thorniest issues, always eschewing stale "tough on crime" rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither "tough" nor "soft" but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that guided Harris to a transformational career as the top law enforcement official in California, and it is guiding her now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality.By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in The Truths We Hold a master class in problem-solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come.

The Truths We Hold Details

TitleThe Truths We Hold
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 8th, 2019
PublisherPenguin Press
Rating
GenrePolitics, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography Memoir, Biography

The Truths We Hold Review

  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.An engaging memoir from the junior U.S. Senator for California, The Truths We Hold sketches the author’s early life, political career, and 2020 campaign platform. Over the course of ten short chapters Kamala Harris alternates between recounting her personal history and outlining her vision for the nation; the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris positions herself as a progressive liberal capable My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.An engaging memoir from the junior U.S. Senator for California, The Truths We Hold sketches the author’s early life, political career, and 2020 campaign platform. Over the course of ten short chapters Kamala Harris alternates between recounting her personal history and outlining her vision for the nation; the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris positions herself as a progressive liberal capable of building an expansive coalition of voters and achieving wide-ranging reforms once in office. The memoir tests out potential slogans and reads as fairly cautious, in that Harris shies away from advocating democratic socialism, qualifies many of her bolder proposals, and takes great pains to defend her past as a prosecutor. Flashes of rage about the past three years make the memoir worth reading, and while I didn’t learn as much about Harris’s future platform as I would have liked, the author’s description of her lifelong passion for social justice is memorable.
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    Pleased to be finishing this one on MLK day and the day Harris announced her candidacy. This was an interesting read, a little slow in the middle. The first and last chapters were my favorites, showcasing her origins and her exhortations for the future. It gave me that little extra insight into a potential (when I started it) candidate that I was looking for. The threshold question I’m holding for any candidate in the current cycle, beyond the basics of whether I find their values and track reco Pleased to be finishing this one on MLK day and the day Harris announced her candidacy. This was an interesting read, a little slow in the middle. The first and last chapters were my favorites, showcasing her origins and her exhortations for the future. It gave me that little extra insight into a potential (when I started it) candidate that I was looking for. The threshold question I’m holding for any candidate in the current cycle, beyond the basics of whether I find their values and track record acceptable, and what I think of their platform and agenda, is this: Can he or she go toe to toe with whoever, whatever, whenever, wherever, to get the job done? If I can get behind what I think they stand for and accept their record of integrity and effectiveness, this will help set the candidates apart. Whatever gender, ethnicity, age or or other demographic, do they have the presence, personal power, displaying to the outside a depth of inner fortitude and grace, to do the job in deeply trying times and far from ideal or supportive circumstances. Culturally, historically, it can be a tougher standard for some demographics than others to convincingly demonstrate publicly. I’m questioning it for everyone, of every demographic, whether minority or majority, in power suits or jeans, dresses or other cultural garb. The traditional power signals our culture is used to responding to may be evolving or crumbling, but power signaling remains a reality in leadership. There were some interesting, sometimes unexpected, strong and weak signalers in the midterms. Who will signal clearly, with real strength, authentically and humanely, in this race?This book didn’t rule out Harris for me in that regard, and made a good case for keeping her in mind as one to watch for having that particular right stuff.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    I am proud to call Kamala Harris my Senator. As a San Fransisco native I have watched her career and have now had the pleasure to vote for her a few times. It was nice to read about her family history, to read about where she came from and how she worked her way up to her current position. I also really enjoyed reading about things that I remember occurring in real life and seeing it from her perspective. I liked reading about how she fought for criminal justice reform, how she negotiated during I am proud to call Kamala Harris my Senator. As a San Fransisco native I have watched her career and have now had the pleasure to vote for her a few times. It was nice to read about her family history, to read about where she came from and how she worked her way up to her current position. I also really enjoyed reading about things that I remember occurring in real life and seeing it from her perspective. I liked reading about how she fought for criminal justice reform, how she negotiated during the mortgage crisis, and how she fought for the laws and brought about change through her positions within government. I also enjoyed her perspective on the gay rights/gay marriage issue in SF. It was cool to read about it from her side. Such an amazing time in our city, state, and country. I obviously think Kamala is boss but I really did think the book was well written and a very informative view from the inside. I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Believing that Ms. Harris will be announcing her run for President, I wanted to learn more about her. I always try to go to the source whenever possible, so I figured this would be a great place to start. The book is interesting, and my overwhelming thought upon finishing it? If anyone wants to know what her platform would be, it's here. Some things are highlighted more than others, but it's all here - her priorities, why, some of the things she has done, etc. So for anyone wanting more informat Believing that Ms. Harris will be announcing her run for President, I wanted to learn more about her. I always try to go to the source whenever possible, so I figured this would be a great place to start. The book is interesting, and my overwhelming thought upon finishing it? If anyone wants to know what her platform would be, it's here. Some things are highlighted more than others, but it's all here - her priorities, why, some of the things she has done, etc. So for anyone wanting more information on this woman that showed up out of the blue (for anyone not in Cali) and who has been making waves with her questioning - start here and branch out. It will give you more to think about for sure.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    I have followed Kamala Harris’ career since she was the District Attorney of San Francisco. When she was Attorney General of California, I impressed with her prosecution of the banks during the mortgage crisis. She has done a good job as Senator representing California.The book is well written. Harris reveals her early life and career. She also points out that she was tossed into the civil rights problems from the beginning because her mother is a Tamil Indian and her father is a black and both I have followed Kamala Harris’ career since she was the District Attorney of San Francisco. When she was Attorney General of California, I impressed with her prosecution of the banks during the mortgage crisis. She has done a good job as Senator representing California.The book is well written. Harris reveals her early life and career. She also points out that she was tossed into the civil rights problems from the beginning because her mother is a Tamil Indian and her father is a black and both were active in the civil rights movement. Her mother immigrated from Madras, India and her father from Jamaica. Both her parents are highly educated: her mother as a breast cancer scientist and her father as an economics professor at Stanford University. The book follows the usual type of memoir of a new politician in that it is part personal memoir but mostly an outline of her beliefs, positions, and goals. Instead of being written in chronological order, the chapters follow various key topics. Harris is a young highly educated woman of color and fits the diversity requirements this country needs of its politicians to better represent the country. I plan on continuing to follow her career and her writings.I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is nine hours and twenty-six minutes. Harris does a good job narrating the book.
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  • Ericka Clouther
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hard book to rate or review because the substance is great, but I really think the order of the topics hurts her case. Like some of the other Election 2020 memoirs that are coming out the substance is more policy than a memoir. I'm generally a fan of that concept as I want to know what the candidates stand for, but that generally makes for bad memoirs. But okay, if we're going to learn about what Kamala stands for, do we want to start for criminal justice reform? I don't think that's t This is a hard book to rate or review because the substance is great, but I really think the order of the topics hurts her case. Like some of the other Election 2020 memoirs that are coming out the substance is more policy than a memoir. I'm generally a fan of that concept as I want to know what the candidates stand for, but that generally makes for bad memoirs. But okay, if we're going to learn about what Kamala stands for, do we want to start for criminal justice reform? I don't think that's the winning focus for 2020, but because she was faking the memoir style, she started with her career expertise. The beginning felt extremely weak and boring and that was unideal. She should have started with economics and global warming probably in terms of election importance and actual importance. I almost quit reading the book before she hit her stride. I'm glad I didn't though because towards the end I felt a lot more persuaded by her thinking.I particularly like how she talks about data collection in developing solutions in public policy. Some years ago I read the Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo book, Poor Economics, about this very topic, and I found it to be a complete game-changer in the way I think about policy data.
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  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    This book discusses policy and vision through the lens of personal experience, which made it engaging and approachable. Senator Harris is smart, insightful, and pragmatic about addressing systemic issues that disproportionately affect people of color in the United States. I highly recommend this book. Senator Harris makes an excellent case for why she should earn our 2020 presidential vote.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Kamala Harris is a badass. While I am from CA originally, I currently live and vote in Texas, so sadly she is not my senator. However, I've taken notice of her over the last two years as she has had greater presence on the national stage fighting for human rights, social justice, and environmental responsibility. I enjoyed learning more about her life, family, career, and political platform. She is one I will be watching as the field of democratic candidates takes shape for 2020.
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  • Vanessa Ogbeide
    January 1, 1970
    Kamala Harris has proven many times over that she is a fighter for systemic change and American values. Her efforts in many instances have been trail blazing and enfranchising of many along the way. I am proud to give her my support in 2020 and beyond.
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  • Trevor Church
    January 1, 1970
    She’s presidential. So is this book. ♥ She’s presidential. So is this book. ♥️
  • P.S. Winn
    January 1, 1970
    I have a feeling the author of this book is a rising star and may even some day be in the line up for president of the United States. The author talks the truth and how who we are and where we come from effect not only our life, but the lives of those around us.
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  • Garrett Hall
    January 1, 1970
    I am very proud to be a constituent of Senator Harris. In my view, she has consistently been a powerful, needed voice in the Senate. I wanted to read her pre-presidential campaign book to learn more about her family background, what influenced her growing up, understand what she did as a prosecutor, DA, and AG, and about her thoughts on our political climate and policy proposals. I found her story and writing beautiful, powerful, witty, and hilarious. I especially appreciated the Wedding Bells c I am very proud to be a constituent of Senator Harris. In my view, she has consistently been a powerful, needed voice in the Senate. I wanted to read her pre-presidential campaign book to learn more about her family background, what influenced her growing up, understand what she did as a prosecutor, DA, and AG, and about her thoughts on our political climate and policy proposals. I found her story and writing beautiful, powerful, witty, and hilarious. I especially appreciated the Wedding Bells chapter, the What I’ve Learned chapter, the excerpts of constituent letters, transcripts of her questions from senate hearings and meetings with the general counsels of big banks during the housing crisis. The descriptions of those events confirm what we have seen in Senate hearings: Kamala Harris is a fierce passionate fighter. However, I also hoped to read an acknowledgement of the wariness people feel about her role as a prosecutor, an understanding of why she pursued that side of the law, and an atonement for any career or policy regrets- such as her impact as a prosecutor, her fight against truancy, decisions regarding transgender inmates, and vote on SESTA/FOSTA. I appreciated her comments on the first two above, but did not see any thoughts on the latter, which maybe would’ve been unprecedented for a pre-campaign book, but one I think is necessary. In the last chapter she showed a determination to talk about policies in a way of “Let’s give it a try” rather than saying this is “the Plan” and it will be successful. I appreciate this, look forward to seeing her talk this way on the campaign trail, and hope to see that forthright demeanor when talking about policies and actions that she regrets, learned from, and would do differently. Ultimately this book was a beautiful honoring of her mother- Shyamala Harris, and a notable telling of the truths and fight we have ahead of us
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  • Ietrio
    January 1, 1970
    Another unscrupulous politician lying all the way to the voting booth.The unpleasant is pushed under the rug, the presumed positive is inflated. Business as usual.I clearly don't get the US politics. I get the mindless tribalism that make Harris good because she is "ours". But beyond that it's over me. One should not prize a generously paid government bureaucrat for doing their job, the same way I won't give a Senatorial job with all the perks to the dry cleaner JUST for not ruining my leather c Another unscrupulous politician lying all the way to the voting booth.The unpleasant is pushed under the rug, the presumed positive is inflated. Business as usual.I clearly don't get the US politics. I get the mindless tribalism that make Harris good because she is "ours". But beyond that it's over me. One should not prize a generously paid government bureaucrat for doing their job, the same way I won't give a Senatorial job with all the perks to the dry cleaner JUST for not ruining my leather coat. And one should certainly not take into account "the intention" when people like Harris abuse their powers, the same way I would not be well impressed when the local busybody burns down the neighbor's house because they thought the mosquito they saw was carrying zika and used a blowtorch to hunt it down.
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  • Christine B.
    January 1, 1970
    A good intro to Kamala Harris as a candidate. She doesn't deal with all the controversial stuff, but I wouldn't expect her to in a book like this. Does a good job laying out her positions on a wide array of issues and why she thinks those issues are important.
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  • Dustin
    January 1, 1970
    The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, is a must-read. Harris, the junior senator from California, and a 2020 presidential candidate, writes a stirring political memoir. She guides readers through her upbringing in CA, a daughter of educated immigrants, her own education at Howard University and UC Berkeley, showing how she was shaped by her surroundings and what prompted her to embrace a life of public service. From a career as a prosecutor to District Attorney in San Francisco, to Attorney Gene The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, is a must-read. Harris, the junior senator from California, and a 2020 presidential candidate, writes a stirring political memoir. She guides readers through her upbringing in CA, a daughter of educated immigrants, her own education at Howard University and UC Berkeley, showing how she was shaped by her surroundings and what prompted her to embrace a life of public service. From a career as a prosecutor to District Attorney in San Francisco, to Attorney General of California to her present role as Senator, Harris has been consistent in her performance and resolute in her fight for justice. Now to policy. Harris discusses Obamacare and rising health care and medication costs, the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform (from bail to parole housing, etc.), the military, immigration, and so much more. Not a fan of our current bail system, “we shouldn’t be in the business of charging money in exchange for liberty.” Hard to argue with her there. When discussing the opioid epidemic, “our ambition has to be to get them help. It’s time that we all accept that addiction is a disease… It’s time we recognize that addiction doesn’t discriminate and our laws shouldn’t either.” In politics, plenty is said on this, but little is done. In politics, Harris believes in testing hypotheses. Cast bold visions, create hypotheses, test them and when needed, make changes. Politicians aren’t given enough opportunities to test and make mistakes. Harris brings to mind FDR when she says “blind adherence to tradition should not be the measure of success.” And unlike our current president, she takes her word choices very seriously. “Words are incredibly powerful. And people in power, whose words can carry furthest and fastest, have an obligation, a duty, to speak them with precision and wisdom.”I highly recommend this book to all Americans, and urge everyone to consider voting for her in 2020.Note: updated on Jan. 25 to reflect her official presidential bid announcement.
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  • Colette
    January 1, 1970
    Technically, I would give this book 3.5 stars. Kamala Harris’s The Truths We Hold feels rushed. It feels like it needs more time in the oven. The writing is a bit rough. It wasn’t well organized and jumps around from personal reflection to political streams of consciousness. The writing didn’t offer a continuity of a memoir. It felt more political stump speech with some sprinkling of personal information. Per usual, the writing felt guarded like more political memoirs I have read. Senator Harris Technically, I would give this book 3.5 stars. Kamala Harris’s The Truths We Hold feels rushed. It feels like it needs more time in the oven. The writing is a bit rough. It wasn’t well organized and jumps around from personal reflection to political streams of consciousness. The writing didn’t offer a continuity of a memoir. It felt more political stump speech with some sprinkling of personal information. Per usual, the writing felt guarded like more political memoirs I have read. Senator Harris has quite the robust resume and I enjoyed learning a touch more about her, though this book left me yearning. I am sure it was meant to be published before she announces her run for 2020. The book does suffer from political cliches and familiar political slogans. In my opinion, this book would have much better if was published two to three years from now. I want to see what bills she was able to get passed and effectively legislated. Regardless, I’d recommend this book to people wanting to know more about this rising Democratic star.
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  • Jeimy
    January 1, 1970
    Harris recounts how her mother's activism shaped her career path and political aspirations. The book is well written, kept me riveted throughout, and had me chuckling aloud during several passages. Ultimately, I will remember Harris's passion towards helping her constituents which is fueled by stories she keeps close to her heart.
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  • Julie Verive
    January 1, 1970
    I think she's running.
  • John Bohnert
    January 1, 1970
    I've admired Kamala Harris for quite a while. After reading her book, I admire her even more. I'm so glad that she is my U.S. Senator.
  • Caitlin Kosovich
    January 1, 1970
    Well this woman clearly plans to run for president. I think she would be fantastic. I worry that she doesn't have broad enough appeal. The compare and contrast between Kamala and Michelle who are about the same age is really interesting. The child of immigrants vs. the child of africans who migrated from the south. Both have strong families that instill pride and work ethic. For me, Michelle is more relatable as a mother and wife. It shouldn't be so, but it is. I think Kamala's law experience is Well this woman clearly plans to run for president. I think she would be fantastic. I worry that she doesn't have broad enough appeal. The compare and contrast between Kamala and Michelle who are about the same age is really interesting. The child of immigrants vs. the child of africans who migrated from the south. Both have strong families that instill pride and work ethic. For me, Michelle is more relatable as a mother and wife. It shouldn't be so, but it is. I think Kamala's law experience is fantastic and will serve her well. She has a big heart and seems to really fight for the people, which I think is extremely admirable in our times. It read a lot like any book Hillary Clinton writes. Like a well planned book report. She throws in a few nuggets of personal experiences, but clearly doesn't want to dwell there. It all comes back to policy that she is working on or has passed. She is very liberal and idealistic which I don't fault her for. It will be interesting to see where things plays out in the next couple of years. Many democrats are vying for the highest position. I am glad to have read this and learned more about this important person. I would recommend it to democrats.
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  • Joe Kessler
    January 1, 1970
    A campaign book is probably never going to be great literature, but this one presents a solid introduction to its author, California Senator Kamala Harris, as she launches her run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Presumably an extended version of her forthcoming stump speeches, it neatly lays out the candidate's background, politics, and general governing philosophies. This last area is perhaps most interesting to me as a primary voter, and I'm heartened by Harris's belief that p A campaign book is probably never going to be great literature, but this one presents a solid introduction to its author, California Senator Kamala Harris, as she launches her run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Presumably an extended version of her forthcoming stump speeches, it neatly lays out the candidate's background, politics, and general governing philosophies. This last area is perhaps most interesting to me as a primary voter, and I'm heartened by Harris's belief that politicians must 'show the math' that leads to their specific policy positions as well as her call for everyone to regularly examine their thought processes for implicit biases.Living up to these ideals, the senator walks readers through several political stands that she's taken over the years, including her opposition during the recent confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. I don't know if Harris will ultimately earn my vote, and this book is certainly not a balanced critical look at the author's platform and record. But there's nothing in here that I would personally consider to be disqualifying, and if you're seeking to form a first impression from the candidate's own words, I'd say this is a fine place to begin your vetting process.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    We all are anxious to know what the future holds, especially since almost all of America is somehow in the grip of the longest government shutdown in history. After reading Kamala Harris' story of her years in office for civic service (service to others is the purpose of holding public office), I would argue that our government and country have been shut down since late January 2017. In this book all the major challenges we face as a nation are addressed. That, in and of itself, makes it a usefu We all are anxious to know what the future holds, especially since almost all of America is somehow in the grip of the longest government shutdown in history. After reading Kamala Harris' story of her years in office for civic service (service to others is the purpose of holding public office), I would argue that our government and country have been shut down since late January 2017. In this book all the major challenges we face as a nation are addressed. That, in and of itself, makes it a useful text. What I was hoping for, and got in spades, was confirmation that Kamala Harris is qualified. She not only speaks the truth as she sees it, but she brings everyone into the dialogue, recognizing that a conversation of one is completely unproductive. I like the plans she outlines for effective legislation to move toward solutions for health care, poverty, the death of financial security for American families, the opioid epidemic, mass incarceration and global climate shift. She has thought about it all, and she has proposed effective solutions. As of January 2019, she is the front runner for me. We need to prepare for a brighter future. It does not involve orange haired dinosaurs. It is thinking, compassionate leaders like Kamala, who are not afraid to talk about a real solution.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I am so glad I read this book and got to know her story. I enjoyed the autobiographical elements, but skipped over some of the policy details. She understands the complexity of the problems facing our country, and is appropriately outraged. Her values are in the right place. AND, I think she would be a capable and strong and inspiring President, extremely well-qualified to try and steer this ship in a new direction.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    In advance of her likely run for U.S. president as a Democratic candidate in 2020, Kamala Harris released this autobiography. It covers her childhood as the daughter of divorced, interracial parents; her legal and political career; and her vision for the future. The book deepens the reader's understanding of her as a politician, and it has helped solidify my belief that she would make an excellent candidate.SchoolHarris' first campaign was to represent the freshman class on the Liberal Arts Stud In advance of her likely run for U.S. president as a Democratic candidate in 2020, Kamala Harris released this autobiography. It covers her childhood as the daughter of divorced, interracial parents; her legal and political career; and her vision for the future. The book deepens the reader's understanding of her as a politician, and it has helped solidify my belief that she would make an excellent candidate.SchoolHarris' first campaign was to represent the freshman class on the Liberal Arts Student Council at Howard University. At Howard, she "chaired the economics society and competed on the debate team," pledged the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and sometimes "went down to the National Mall to protest apartheid in South Africa."As a law student, Harris began working as an intern for the Alameda County district attorney in Oakland, California in 1988. She recalls: "I had a sense that I wanted to be a prosecutor, that I wanted to be on the front lines of criminal justice reform, that I wanted to protect the vulnerable." She passed the bar exam on her second attempt in early 1990.She began prosecuting homicides, then sex crimes, "putting rapists and child molesters behind bars. It was difficult, distressing, and deeply important work."Alameda County, Calif. District AttorneyShe was elected and inaugurated as the Alameda County district attorney in 2004. She knew that, when a person is convicted of a felony, the outcome "wasn't just about the time in prison; it was about what happens afterwards." Most people reoffend within three years of their release from prison. So she began to envision "a reentry program that actually worked" and "allow[ed] people to earn their way back" into society. With Tim Silard, she founded Back on Track. She received "tremendous pushback" in a climate that prioritized a less forgiving approach to dealing with criminals. Nevertheless, her program was effective: "After two years, only 10 percent of Back on Track graduates had reoffended, as compared with 50 percent for others convicted of similar crimes." It was also a bargain for taxpayers, costing one-tenth of the money that would be needed to prosecute someone and house them in jail for a year. The Justice Department under the Obama administration treated it as a "model program."She says there need to be "serious consequences for police brutality" because, as long as such beatings happen, we cannot "really say that we live in a free society." Having worked with police officers throughout her career, she says "it is a false choice to suggest that you must either be for the police or for police accountability. I am for both."Harris has been a longtime supporter of marriage equality for same-gender couples. In 2004, when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex marriages to begin, she "was quickly sworn in" as an officiant and performed some of the marriages, although these marriages were soon invalidated.Following the financial crisis, in 2009 and 2010, she "prosecuted mortgage scammers for defrauding the elderly and veterans" and "created a mortgage fraud unit to fill in the areas of chronic under-enforcement by the federal government."California Attorney GeneralIn 2010, she was elected as California's attorney general. Arguing against big banks that "my shareholders are the homeowners of California," she won a large settlement that "ultimately grew to $20 billion in relief to homeowners" in the state.When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that California must allow same-gender marriages, she again officiated one of the first marriages in San Francisco City Hall. She mentions that, today, the nation has yet to secure employment nondiscrimination for LGBTQ people and transgender rights more broadly.In 2014, she organized a national law enforcement conference "to push back against the idea" that so-called "gay and trans panic" can ever be an acceptable defense for hate crimes, and she eventually succeeded in her effort to ban the use of this defense in California. In 2014, she married Douglas Emhoff, becoming stepmother to his two children. U.S. SenatorIn January 2017, she was inaugurated as Senator and was appointed to four committees: Intelligence, Homeland Security, Budget, and Environment and Public Works. One of her first acts in the Senate was to question General John Kelly about his position on the DACA program during his confirmation hearing to become secretary of Homeland Security.Later that year, she introduced a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, that would encourage states to demand bail only if a defendant "poses a threat to the public" or "is likely to flee." In the current system, black and Latino men are asked to pay significantly more bail than white men who are charged with the same crimes, and people spend excessive amounts of time in jail when they cannot afford bail. These defendants are "largely nonviolent" and "haven't been proven guilty, and we're spending $38 million a day to imprison them," she says.Under the current presidential administration, she complains, "arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record nearly doubled." These arrests are especially hard on children. That is to say nothing of family separations, most of which happened at the U.S./Mexico border but some of which happened at legal ports of entry: "There are few things more cruel, more inhumane, more fundamentally evil than ripping a child from her parent's arms. We should all know this to be true on a gut level." She reveals that, when she asked the detention facility staff at Otay Mesa who was in charge of reuniting families, she learned that this man "had no idea what the plan was or the status of any reunification efforts." Speaking to an ICE official, she questioned his statement that detained immigrants in ICE custody "choose" to perform cleaning duties (such as toilet or laundry) for $1/day. And she points out that people who are in danger "have the legal right to seek asylum," and that "treat[ing] them like criminals" when they arrive "is not the sign of a civil society, nor is it a sign of compassion." She has introduced a Senate bill to require immigration agents to wear body cameras for accountability of how they behave toward immigrants.She also discusses the importance of healthcare and understanding the origins of illness. She was acquainted with a woman who, before Obama's Affordable Care Act, could not obtain prenatal coverage from a health insurance plan because her pregnancy was considered a "preexisting condition." Many people are surprised by high fees for emergencies or surgeries. Due to poverty, black Americans are more likely to experience "toxic stress" from violent environments and more likely to develop kidney failure (often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure); and, regardless of income, black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women. And, since mental health care providers "are reimbursed at such low rates," it turns out that "almost half of psychiatrists don't take insurance." Thus, "even in Maine, the state with the best access to mental health care," only six out of ten mentally ill adults receive treatment. In this book, she suggests creating "an apprenticeship system" that would "encourage a new generation of Americans to go into the mental health care field."When the current presidential administration said in 2017 that opioid abuse was a public health emergency, their emergency fund was $57,000, "less than one dollar for each person who died of a drug overdose that year." She notes that Republicans had tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act through which three million people have coverage for addiction treatment.Other topicsHarris mentions labor ("when you adjust for inflation, the federal minimum wage is actually lower now than when Dr. King spoke of 'starvation wages' in 1968"), pointing out that black and Latina women's incomes are respectively 63% and 54% of white men's incomes.She mentions Russian interference in the 2016 election, pointing out that Russia "focused on hot-button issues, from race to LGBTQ and immigrant rights. This means that they knew that racism and other forms of hate have always been our nation's Achilles' heel."She mentions the multi-dimensional challenges of climate change: environment, health, economy, security.She visited Puerto Rico in 2017 following Hurricane Maria, noting that the official death toll stands at over 2,900 and that another report suggests it may be double that number.She recalls the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Committee knew "that there was something in his past that Judge Kavanaugh and the White House were trying to hide...90 percent of Judge Kavanaugh's record was withheld from members of the Judiciary Committee."
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  • Ruby
    January 1, 1970
    "Engaging in the fight for civil rights and social justice is not for the faint of heart. It is as difficult as it is important, and the wins may never taste as sweet as the losses taste sour. But count yourself as part of the lineage of those who refused to relent. But count yourself as part of the lineage of those who refused to relent. And when we're feeling frustrated and discouraged by the obstacles in fron of us, Let's channel the words of Constance Baker Motley, one of my inspirations as "Engaging in the fight for civil rights and social justice is not for the faint of heart. It is as difficult as it is important, and the wins may never taste as sweet as the losses taste sour. But count yourself as part of the lineage of those who refused to relent. But count yourself as part of the lineage of those who refused to relent. And when we're feeling frustrated and discouraged by the obstacles in fron of us, Let's channel the words of Constance Baker Motley, one of my inspirations as the first black American woman appointed to the federal judiciary. "Lack of encouragement never dettered me," she wrote. "In fact, I think the effect was just the opposite. I was the kind of person who would not be put down.""This book grows out of that call to action, and out of my belief that our fight must begin and end with speaking truth.""I believe there is no more important and consequential antidote for these times than a reciprocal relationship of trust. You give and you recieve trust. And one of the most important ingredients in a relationship of trust is that we speak truth. It matters what we say. What we mean. The value we place on our words-and what they are worth to others.""She was conscious of history, conscious of struggle, conscious of inequities. She was born with a sense of justice imprinted on her soul.""I knew quite well that equal justice was an aspiration. I knew that the force of the law was applied unevenly, sometimes by design. But I also knew that what was wrong with the system didn't need to be an immutable fact.""It takes an enormous amount od courage for someone to share their story and endure cross-examination, Knowing their credibility and most personal details may be on the line. But when they take the stand, they are doing so for the benefit of all of us-so that there will be consequences and accountability for those who violate the law.""When it comes to the things that matter most, we have so much more in common that what separates us.""For me, to be a progressive prosecutor is to understand-and act on-this dichotomy. It is to understand that when a person takes another's life, or a child is molested, or a woman raped, the perpetrators deserve severe consequences. That is one imperative of justic. But it is also to understand that fairness is in short supply in a justice system that is supposed to guarantee it. The job of a progressive prosecutor is to look out for the overlooked, to speak up for those whose voices aren't being heard, to see and adress the causes of crime not just their consequences, and to shine a light on the inequality and unfairness that lead to injustice.""Tough decisions are tough precisely because the outcome isn't clear. But your gut will tell you if you're on the right track. And you'll know what decision to make.""In other words, tomorrow's generations will suffer as a result of yesterday's folly and greed. We cannot change what has already happened. But we can make sure it never happens again.""Your right to free speech doesn't give you the right to intervene in a court proceeding. You don't get to be a party in a lawsuit simply because you have strong feelings about something.""In the year's to come, what matters most is that we see ourselves inone another's struggles. Whether we are fighting for transgender rights or for an end to racial bias, whether we are fighting against housing discrimination or insidious immigration laws, no matter who we are or how we look or how little it may seem we have in common, the truth is, in the battle for civil rights and economic justice, we are all the same.""What amounts to a headache for those with means takes the form of desperation for those without.""Standing among them, I thought about the duality of the immigrant experience in America. On the one hand, it is an experience characterized by an extraordinary sense of hopefulness and purpose, a deep belief in th epower of the American Dream-an experience of possibility. At the same time, it is an experience too often scarred by stereotyping and scapegoating, in which discrimination, both explicit and implicit, is part of everyday life.""For as long as ours has been a nation of immigrants, we have been a nation that fears immigrants. Fear of the other is woven into the fabric of our American culture, and unscrupulous people on power have exploited that fear in pursuit of political advantage.""I often describe the balance of our democracy as resting on four legs: three independent, coequal branches of government and a free, independent press.""Putting a label on things can help you cope with them, I've learned. It doesn't make you stop feeling your emotion, but you can put it somewhere if you can name it.""Politics is a realm where the grand pronounceme often takes the place of painstaking and detail-oriented work of getting meangful things done. This isn't to say that there's anything inherently wrong with grand pronouncements. Good leadership requires visions and aspiration. It requires the articulation of bold ideas that move people to action. But it is often the mastery of the seemingly unimportant details, the careful execution of the tedious tasks, and the dedicated work done outside of the public eye that make the changes we seek possible.""Words have the ability to empower and to deceive, the power to soothe and to hurt. They can spread important ideas and wrongheaded ones. They can spur people to action, for good or ill. Words are incredibly powerful, and people in power, whose words can carry furthest and fastest, have an obligation-a duty-to speak them with precision and wisdom.""Even when it's uncomfortable. Even when it leaves people feeling uneasy. When you speak truth, people won't always walk away feeling good-and sometimes you won't feel so great about reaction you recieve. But at least all parties will walk away knowing it was an honest conversation.""The fact is, they will find themselves in rooms where no one else looks like them. And breaking barriers can be scary. When you break through a glass ceiling, you're going to get cut, and it's going to hurt. It is not without pain."
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Is the smart, motivated, and someone organized enough to be a good President? yes. Is her grasp of the details of policy, especially domestic policy, significantly strong? yes. The book convinced me of the above statements. Her description of the health insurance crisis was pretty myopic, and that unnerved me. She talked about a pregnant dental assistant who worked for five dentists and did not have health insurance, who was (pre ACA) denied coverage because she was pregnant when she applied, an Is the smart, motivated, and someone organized enough to be a good President? yes. Is her grasp of the details of policy, especially domestic policy, significantly strong? yes. The book convinced me of the above statements. Her description of the health insurance crisis was pretty myopic, and that unnerved me. She talked about a pregnant dental assistant who worked for five dentists and did not have health insurance, who was (pre ACA) denied coverage because she was pregnant when she applied, and pregnancy was a pre-existing condition. True, it was and is but why didn't she have insurance? What Kamala totally failed to mention was back before 2009, in California you could buy regular health insurance coverage and deduct it as a business expense on your Schedule C, which as an independent contractor she certainly had. Relatively cheaply. And it would of course have covered pregnancy. I was pretty amazed that Kamala did not even think to ask her friend the dental assistant why she got pregnant and then wanted to apply...instead of doing the responsible, adult approach and take charge of your own health insurance. Just that example made me wonder if she really is ready for the complexities of both sides of an issue. Will I vote for her? Depends on whether she gets the endorsement of Dianne Feinstein, her fellow Senator.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 stars3.5/5 stars — a rating given solely for the quality of the book. This does not reflect my opinion about Kamala Harris, who I deeply respect and admire. I felt that this was clearly a campaign book — a book that was meant to hammer in Harris’ past accomplishments and policy/issue positions in light of her (likely) bid for presidency. And while learning about these things was interesting, I felt that it caused the book to lose the quality it could have had. Some ideas that could have re 3.5/5 stars3.5/5 stars — a rating given solely for the quality of the book. This does not reflect my opinion about Kamala Harris, who I deeply respect and admire. I felt that this was clearly a campaign book — a book that was meant to hammer in Harris’ past accomplishments and policy/issue positions in light of her (likely) bid for presidency. And while learning about these things was interesting, I felt that it caused the book to lose the quality it could have had. Some ideas that could have resonated came off as being clichés and tried too hard to be meaningful metaphors, and I felt as though many of Kamala’s points and ideas read like laundry lists — bullet points that she needed to get down to convince us that she should be our president in 2020. And again, I deeply respect and admire Senator Harris, but as I felt this book sacrificed genuine insight for a political bid, the quality of this book merited a 3.5 star rating.
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  • Maggie Holmes
    January 1, 1970
    This was fascinating and I enjoyed hearing her own voice. I wish that I had the book along side it so I could refer to things she had said earlier. I've been telling many people about the various work she did in California. I was particularly interested in the training people did around implicit bias. I know I have many biases so I probably have more that I'm not even aware of. I took a test on one kind on a Harvard website, but it wasn't well designed. I pressed keys more quickly at the end bec This was fascinating and I enjoyed hearing her own voice. I wish that I had the book along side it so I could refer to things she had said earlier. I've been telling many people about the various work she did in California. I was particularly interested in the training people did around implicit bias. I know I have many biases so I probably have more that I'm not even aware of. I took a test on one kind on a Harvard website, but it wasn't well designed. I pressed keys more quickly at the end because I didn't have to think which words were "good" and which were "bad" after sorting them 3 other times. Anyway, Kamala (Comma-La) Harris is a person we should be paying attention to for 2020!It was not as compelling a story as Michelle Obama's because Harris goes more into her political views, but I haven't read President Obama's books to see if his were equally political.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Combination of giving her background and also her stand on issues. Clearly written as her introduction for her presidential campaign, which she announced just as I finished reading this. Her background reminds me a bit of Obama. Dad from Jamaica, mom from India. Met while going to college at UC Berkeley. Parents separated when Kamala was about 6. Kamala, mom and younger sister moved to Toronto when she was 12 because her mom got a job at research hospital there (breast cancer researcher). Kamala Combination of giving her background and also her stand on issues. Clearly written as her introduction for her presidential campaign, which she announced just as I finished reading this. Her background reminds me a bit of Obama. Dad from Jamaica, mom from India. Met while going to college at UC Berkeley. Parents separated when Kamala was about 6. Kamala, mom and younger sister moved to Toronto when she was 12 because her mom got a job at research hospital there (breast cancer researcher). Kamala graduated HS there then went to Howard University. Issues as district attorney, state AG, and US senator are focused on helping poor, POC, disadvantaged.
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  • Sierra
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the focus of policy over memoir. I felt like I learned just enough about her personal life and how it has shaped her character. Not only is she getting a 5 star book review from me, but she will get my vote for president. The book has statistics that will make you angry, hopeful, or bring you to tears and they are so necessary. One of my favorite quotes was “When you break through a glass ceiling, you’re going to get cut, and it’s going to hurt. It will not be without pain.” I’m thankful I loved the focus of policy over memoir. I felt like I learned just enough about her personal life and how it has shaped her character. Not only is she getting a 5 star book review from me, but she will get my vote for president. The book has statistics that will make you angry, hopeful, or bring you to tears and they are so necessary. One of my favorite quotes was “When you break through a glass ceiling, you’re going to get cut, and it’s going to hurt. It will not be without pain.” I’m thankful to have women in politics that are breaking the glass ceiling, so that all of us are not cut along the way.
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